Ph.D. Exchange Research Program with South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
B. S. Material Chemistry, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China, 2011
Title: “Nanoporous gold for detection of organics in aqueous media”
Abstract: Electrode surface structure and functional modification with higher catalytic response are of great interest in many technologies. My project aims at designing highly efficient nanostructured gold- based electrochemical catalyst. Using the calixarene-capped gold nanoclusters as the construction unit, we report on the formation of gold films with nanoporous structure via hydrogen-bubble templating under electrochemically reducing conditions. The resulting nanoporous gold (NPG) assembly possesses the highest aspect ratio (defined as the ratio of the pore size to the wall thickness) reported to date. The calixarene-bound NPG with its high aspect ratio shows promising application in the detection of organics, such as nitrobenzene (NB), in aqueous media.
We also report on the successful removal of the calixarene capping layer without the pore collapse using UV-ozone treatment. After the removal of calixarene, the nanoporous gold presents a different NB detection ability compared with the calixarene ligand capped nanoporous gold. The whole process demonstrates a new facile strategy to synthesize nanoporous materials as well as to enable easy adjustment of the surface chemistry of nanoporous materials, which are of great interest in several applications, ranging from sensing to energy storage.